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Cadence Column

Cadence Column: Asia, November 19, 2018


Cadence

Cadence

In Taiwanese politics, a mayor candidate’s comments about his own benefits from drinking honey-lemonade sparked retribution from the medical community. After a lump under his eye went away, apparently from a vegetarian and honey-lemonade diet, he actually said so. A professional from a hospital was quick to weigh in. It’s understandable. If people learned that honey could cure disease, hospital profits would plunge. More importantly, Taiwanese political debates would become outright boring without the ability to, as the saying goes, make lemonade from political debates.

But, lemonade really is important. Google search results even saw a spike after this essential talk of Taiwanese politics made news.

Meanwhile, at the ASEAN summit in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for nations to come together at a time when Southeast Asian stability was under threat. In anticipation of APEC after ASEAN, Mike Pence started talking tough, wanting results and genuine action from China concerning an even-flow of trade. He elaborated, that the US has a quarter of a billion dollars in tariffs and isn’t afraid to go twice as high as well as take more “diplomatic” action. It was a strong “they know that we know that they know what we think” remark, the kind that precedes otherwise objectionable action to make the action unobjectionable.

Later, at APEC, Pence warned of returning to a “cold war” while making plans for a US-Australian naval base in Papua New Guinea. Rather than dropping its tilted tariffs on goods, China has been openly gearing up for all out war three weeks. APEC ended without a written agreement between member nations for the first time ever because of the disagreements between the US and China.

This past weekend, Taiwan did something that China despises every bit as much as it cannot identify with: Taiwan hosted democratic election campaigns. With all the strong rhetoric concerning Taiwan, independence, and China’s loudly and often-spoken determination to invade Taiwan, there shouldn’t be any question where China’s war-in-preparation will start and why America will easily get involved.

America is already involved in Taiwan to quite an extent. AIT, the unofficial yet de facto US embassy in Taiwan, had an interview scheduled for release with a large TV network in Taiwan. But, after the interview, the TV network, TVBS, scrapped the interview. So, AIT shared the interview in its Facebook page, rather than relying on TVBS.

With the history lessons about Taiwan in almost every Taiwan-related story in the Western press, Americans will take an advancement against Taiwan as an advancement against themselves. China would be perceived as an aggressor and rightly so. Everything the US has done to provoke and irritate China would have only worked if China possessed the old school “Asian Pride” that Sun Tzu warned against, a pride that can’t be permitted in a world’s superpower because such pride is easily provoked just as much as it is easily shattered. Hardened pride makes for brittle peace. That’s something that the entire West won’t allow, the US notwithstanding.

Experts address Wu E-yang’s honey lemonade claims | Taipei Times

Pence: It’s up to China to avoid a cold war | WA Post

APEC summit concludes without final communique | Taipei Times

China-Backed Asia Trade Deal Pushed Back to 2019 Amid Delays | Bloomberg

Singapore calls for closer SE Asia ties, Pence backs Trump | Taipei Times

‘America First’ Is Pulling Asian Nations Apart: Summit Update | Bloomberg

China calls any challenge on Taiwan ‘extremely dangerous’ | Straits Times

China Calls Any Challenge on Taiwan ‘Extremely Dangerous’ | Bloomberg

US and China step up effort to strike G20 truce on trade | FT

The way to prevent World War III: Avoid delusions about China and US leadership | CNBC

Xi Jinping: US-China trade war will produce no winners | BBC

Trump Calls China’s List of Trade Concessions ‘Not Acceptable’ | NY Times

America to partner with Australia to develop naval base on Manus Island | Guardian

US to expand Pacific military base together with Australia in bid to stop China’s growing influence | RT

APEC summit: Australia and the United States partnering for Manus Island naval base | 9news.com.au

US to join Australia in South Pacific naval base expansion | FT

AIT posts interview after TVBS axes it | Taipei Times

Flashback: China preparing for war

World War 3: China prepares for WAR as tensions escalate in the South China Sea and Taiwan | Express

President Xi tells military to ‘concentrate preparation for fighting a war’ | news.com.au

China’s Xi tells military to prepare for war as US Navy warns of high seas encounters | RT

Source: Pacific Daily Times
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About Pacific Daily Times

Pacific journalism. …to help people understand each other daily by delivering periodical journalism that is relevant, usable, and inspiring to countries that touch the Pacific Ocean.

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